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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 4, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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right now we issalute and hand f to andrea mitchell. going rogue. the president telling reporters he would love to talk to robert mueller even against his lawyers advice. >> i would love to go. i would love to speak but i have to find that we're going to be treated fairly. everybody sees it now and sit a pure witch hunt. it's a very unfair thing. if i thought it was fair, i would override my lawyers. >> is he throwing rudy giuliani under the bus? >> rudy knows it's a witch hunt. he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. he's a great guy. >> plus a public embrace for the president's embattled chief of staff. >> i would love to speak. i would love to go.
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nothing i want to do more. we did nothing wrong. president trump is sending yet another message to robert mueller. let's talk. >> i would love to speak. i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me. against my lawyers because most lawyers never speak on anything. i would love to speak. >> want to revise rudy giuliani two-day media tour. the president stopped not once but twice to stop before leaving for the nra convention in dallas during which he endorsed his chief of staff and signalled a new willingness to talk to mueller. his newly white house lawyer
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emett flood wants him to take a hard line. peter, you have new reporting that rudy giuliani will issue some sort of correction to the various legal points that he has been making for the last 4 8 hours. >> reporter: that's right. the president telegraphed this earlier saying there would be a statement coming out from rudy giuliani soon. i spoke to rudy giuliani within the last five minutes and he tells me to expect a correction. he said sure. you'll see that within the next 15 or so minutes. i would say to watch this space. as soon as i receive that e-mail from the former new york city mayor, now the new attorney for president trump, we'll pass that onto you. he said that everything that his
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has been said is incorrect right now about the transactions. if he wanted to start all over again. he said of rudy giuliani, he said he's great guy. he described him add a good friend but just started yesterday. he started several weeks ago. started last month. now we're looking for more clarity on that when asked at joint base andrews why he changed his story, the president said he didn't change his story but he was speaking to a reporter from the associated press who he was the very same reporter on air force one when she asked about this payment and he said no. at this point there are a lot more questions being raised in regards to this payment by president trump. those were significant indicating he would like to speak. he would consider overruling his
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own lawyers if he could do that but he would do if if he was confident they would be fair. he said people should know that mueller served president for eight years. that's not true. robert mueller is a republican. he was appointed by a republican president and only served the democratic president for four years. andrea. >> peter, was also remarkable about this and you point out that kathryn was the reporter on april 5th on air force one when the president said he didn't know anything about payment, ask my lawyer. ask michael cohen and we got the whole revision of this where rudy giuliani put out that the president was aware but only aware recently and there was rae taner and paying $35,000 a month starting in january of 2017.
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it was timed in october 2016 to try to make it go away before the election. the next morning when he spoke he said imagine in that fuse had come out. even if you set that aside about this new money we're learning about, 12 payments as rudy giuliani confirmed to kristen welker last night of 35,000. he said they were paid beginning in 2017, that raises its own red flags and questions about ethics violations that the president never was transparent about his liabilities.
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there's a law that requires you to be transparent about liabilities. moneys owed of more than $10,000. >> you've got rudy giuliani who was brought in as lawyer but became a spokesman and kind of the public face of the administration. you've got ty cobb quitting and bringing in emmet flood who is supposed to be a hard liner on negotiating because ty cobb wanted to be more accommodating and now the president is going back to yeah i'll talk to mueller. what's the signals here? >> i'm going back to almost a year ago when jay was going out and trump wanted to rein him in. they want to bring people out to be the public face to defend the
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president and when he finds his stories can't be defended or he doesn't like the way they are defending him, he'll try to undermine the messenger. the other thing i found out is that rudy giuliani did not know that trump was going on fox and friends last week. remember that long call in that just ran on and an. that wasn't something that rudy giuliani signed off on. it danieled damaged the work he trying to do. he just needs to come forward and say what's not happening. >> the press carry, the general counsel, a number of top officials embarrassed and caught audiotape guard about what happened with rudy giuliani laying out these facts.
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the president doesn't usually stop. 15 minutes later he stops and talks to the reporters in a really walk up to the press with john kelly at his side. >> general kelly is doing a fantastic job. there's been such false reporting about our relationship. we have a great relationship. host doing great job. i could not be more happy. >> privilege to work for a president. we're about to have a breakthrough on north korea. everything is going phenomenally
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well. >> i guess it's fake news. there's no question they've been on the outs. i guess the president has been advised this is really the wrong time right now to change your chief of staff. >> i think that's exactly right. this was sort of a remarkable moment to see these two men side by side. almost sounded like john kelly was taking a cue from his boss and saying everything is perfect. what it also strikes me about this is this is a prosecuesiden doesn't really believe he need a chief of staff. he believes hst a witch hunt too. >> thank you both for starting
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off. it's friday. let's just face it. i want to ask you about the president can now clearly run away from what rudy giuliani said. does that mean that none of that has happened as far as any kind of legal impact? >> the investigators are know what happened. it's interesting that michael cohen has come out and said that rudy giuliani didn't know what he was talking about. they are backtracking. cohen does know what happened. cohen who they are trying to call a liar because they are afraid he's going to cooperate. it seems to be in part reaction to that. the truth is what they say on tv doesn't matter legally. what matters is what the records show, what the witnesses will
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tell them and the investigators are going to follow that and get to the bottom of that. >> unless it's used to trap the president in some interview where he gets these various narratives confused. what he did was to compare and fbi agents in the southern district of new york where mimi once worked as an assistant prosecutor. >> the question there was only possible violation was was it a campaign finance violation.
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it usually result in a fine. not the storm troopers breaking down the apartment or apartment. >> that's unacceptable when the nation leaders attack the constituti institutions of justice. we have to speak out because we need those institutions. the notion that the fbi is made of nazi storm troopers is wrong and dangerous. >> frank, you work for so many years, i believe 25 years in fbi, how does that make you feel? what are you hearing from others in the bureau? >> it's a shameful assertion and characterization by someone who the fbi enjoys a great rep. now adopting the posture of his client which has him down in the same gutter that the president resides in. rudy giuliani is a regular speaker at fbi charity vent, raising funds for fbi families who have lost their loved one in the line of duty. i've got to tell you what i'm
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hearing amongst the troops is that rudy may not have an invitation to the next charity event. this is an unwelcome statement and it's shameful and it's coming from his client and he's representing his client. i've got to tell you, there's a legal defense called ineffective assistance of counsel. it's used when convicted of a crime and the only thing you can say in your defense is my lawyer was incompetent. today it's liking like the rudy is the poster child for that defense. he's not helping the president at all. the retainer repayment on a monthly payment is a magic bullet against campaign finance violations is inaccurate. it's not. now he's exposed the president even further to a possible ethics and government violation by not declaring what he owes cohen on a monthly basis as a liability. he's not helping. if we see a change today, a correction by rudy giuliani, he's actually made himself a
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fact witness because he will have to explain to investigators as a witness how he said what he said first on fox and now why he's changing his story. it's a major screw up legally here. >> it's a long way from america's mayor after 9/11 who, as you know better than anyone, put together the whole counter intelligence operation between the nypd and the fbi and changed landscape in new york city. michael cohen such major figure. >> i spoke with michael cohen yesterday. he said that there are two people that know exactly what happened. myself and the president. you'll be hearing my side of the story.
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he was very frustrated at what had come out yesterday. >> how does emmet flood, this top lawyer in washington, how does he walk into this mess and assert any discipline at all in. >> it's not going to be easy and i think -- for the president to say he wants to go in for an interview but my lawyers are telling me not too. it's his right if he wants to go in. his lawyers can advise him and as frank said, i'm not sure they're doing a great job at the moment. it is his right to go in for an interview. he can't hide behind that and say i want to but they won't let me. as for cohen, he's right that there are two people, i'm sure, him and trump who know what happened. there are other people who probably know, at least some of what happened and are figuring it out. as i said before, that's the
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investigators. i think that's important for people to keep in mind because there's a lot of facts right now being thrown around and muddied up and we don't know all the facts right now. the investigators meaning the fbi, southern district of new york prosecutors will figure it out. we have to wait for all these facts to come out instead of letting the president and rudy giuliani just muddy this up so that no one can keep the stories straight and we just throw our hands up in exhaustion from this. we have to let the investigators do their job. >> let me ask you about one of the tools they are using now that we cleared up confusion and come misreporting on this. tell everyone what is a pin register and what are the implications for michael cohen. why would they want to track the phone numbers going in and out of his phones. >> it's a common tool. it's one of the first things you get in almost any investigation. there's a pretty low standard for getting one. it allows you to see who someone
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is talking to because you know other people as an investigator that you you would want to go talk to. if you see that michael cohen is talking to such a certain phone number, multiple time a day and it's not a relative or best friend, that's probably a person you want to go do an interview of. that's one purpose it serves. my guess is this is just a small part of the investigation. >> would he be notified in. >> no. >> this is covert surveillance be p. >> law enforcement would not refer to a pin register, frank can correct me if he thinks i'm wrong. we wouldn't refer to it as surveillance but you are gathering data. >> thanks so very much. coming up, locked and loaded. president trump speaking to the at the nra annual convention. months after promising to take on the gun lobby. man: it takes a lot of work to run this business,
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today only months after pledging for a while to stand up to the nra, president trump will be speaking at the organization's annual convention along with the vice president. now cohost of the circus on showtime on sunday night. first of all, the nra
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convention, guns as an issue. you understand these issues better than a lot of us. you're down there in texas at the nra. what's the point they are trying to make post parkland and that extraordinary out pouring of public feeling. why are both the president and the vice president there today? >> we're just as strong as we have been. we don't compromise, we don't back off. we double down. the president pushed back a bit post-parkland shooting and here he comes and he's backed off those sort of amended positions that he began to take off the shooting and now he's back in the nra boat. i'm sure he's glad to get out of the swamp this week and come down here to red state mecca, red state dallas. he'll get a warm welcome here. >> indeed he will. all the while i wanted to ask you about john mccain because the audio book, parts of his
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audio book, the restless wave, have come out. >> i don't know how much longer i'll be here. maybe i'll have another five years. maybe with the advances of oncology they'll find new treatments for my cancer. they will extend my life. maybe i'll be gone before you hear this. >> it's difficult to listen to. megan mccain on the view has been on the view and she's tweeted, going home to arizona to be with my family, which he was last weekend as well. will be back on the view tuesday. thank you for your prayers, patience, understanding and compassion during this time. it means the world to me and my
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entire family. i know that joe biden visited him last sunday. really closely connected because of what beau biden went through with the same diagnosis, the same lethal brain cancer. mark. >> such a great patriot and such an honor to work for him. fs doing everything. somebody handed me a bag and i didn't understand what it was. it had a hair drubrush and a fe other things. senator mccain reach eed over hh pressure i had to brush his hair for him. it's like what a powerful character in our history and such an independent guy at a time when things are so
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partisan. he was the original maverick. everybody's thinking about him right now. >> indeed we are. just the fact that he still righting and speaking out and saying that he has a lot more that he wants to say about how broken our politics are and the fact he works so closely with teddy kennedy who suffered the same kind of tumor. the terrible irony of teddy kennedy and beau biden and john mccain suffering the same fate. i wanted to ask you about the circus. set it up. we have a clip. >> we decided to go out in trump country. travel around the united states to get a sense of how donald trump is playing. he's the biggest figure. he's animating both sides, republicans and democrats. he went to utah, wisconsin,
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florida, georgia. we're here in dallas to get a pulse of how donald trump is playing. he's such a gigantic figure on that stage that the shadow falls everywhere in the country. >> you ran for office in the '90s. you ran in the bush era. you ran for president in the obama era. now you're running for public office in trump era. how is that different? >> i don't know that it's different. you express what you believe. i think for people, for whom this is that you aeir occupatio politics is something they have to skds ucceed it. i don't feel that way. it's different for me. >> how did you explain mitt romney not being a clear winner? >> that's a really good example of what trump country means.
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the fact that mitt romney who is very well known out there, quite famous for what he did for the olympics and he's having a tough time in the primary. at least a channel in the primary and that's because he hasn't been 100% trump all along. he's seen the political light and realizes he's got to come kiss the ring again. he knows that's what he had to do. >> thanks so much. >> sunday night, 8:00. thanks. we'll be talking about trump country.
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>> thanks very much. coming up, arms deal. how a weapons deal with ukraine is getting in the way of special counsel's investigation. welcome to holiday inn! thank you! ♪ ♪
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epa chief scott pruitt is facing new scrutiny, again, over his foreign travels. most notably a trip to morocco last year to promote natural gas, something that's not part of the epa. the trip cost taxpayers more than $100,000. partly arranged by a long time lobbyist friend. he was hired by morocco's government. he was a lobbyist for 13 years for comcast, parent company of msnbc. he did not respond to the post request for comment. legal experts tell the post it's very unusual for someone outside the u.s. government to help arrange such travel details for the head of a federal agency.
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revealing the key role outsiders have played in pruitt's foreign travel. thank you very much for joining us. tell us your main concern. we've been focusing on the ethical travels that i've been worried and a lot of my colleagues that we haven't had the bandwidth to look more closely in the deregulation and that's something you addressed in your op-ed. the epa administrator, his job is to protect the health of the american public and from what i read, what i see he's doing quite a opposite. i think he's more interested in
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helping corporate allies gain access to the government as opposed to working on behalf of the american people for cleaner air, water and reducing toxic substances in our environment. >> i know you have written about why this is personal for you. you've worked for years and years on clean air and now you've got a medical condition where you're very affected by the pollution. >> thank you. i did work 30 plus year at epa in air pollution control. although i did work in other areas as well. after i retired i was diagnosed with an advanced lung condition and i found during the october wildfires in northern california we had heavy smoke in our community and i had difficulty breathing. that helped me relate to all the people i've been trying to help for 30 plus years who are compromised in their breathing.
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i found that i do need clean air to breathe. if i'm not in the clean air environment, i can't. there are many americans in the same boat so i'm kind of proud for all the work i did to help make our air cleaner. >> what are you hear fg you're from your former colleagues from inside the agency? >> i don't talk with them too much about program issues. we have formed a national organization that we just try to act as a good resource for external request from outside groups. this is being part of that effort. when you look at something like this trip to morocco where he missed the flight to morocco from paris so ended up having to spend another day and a half and another night in paris.
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only in morocco for one day on this three day jaunt in an area completely outside of his agency's work. how do they defend that? >> that's difficult for me to speak to. it does seem the administrator went outside the scope of his responsibilities as epa administrator on an energy trip. in terms of ethical issues surrounding the trip, as a federal flow we had to take ethics training every year. we all know what waste frauds and a abuse look like. it's drilled into us. we know what the con squsequenc are. these are regulations that we follow. that we're obligated and required to follow. if all of us have to follow
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these regulations, doesn't it follow the administrator does too. he's supposed to set the example. there's like 12 investigations going on with the administrator. i'm confident the current investigations will reveal the facts and show what's happening or not. >> best to you and thanks very much for speaking out. appreciate your coming in. we'll be right back.
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former trump campaign chairman paul manafort back in federal court today seeking to have federal bank and tax fraud charges dismissed. his appearance comes amid new role working for a pro-russian political party in ukraine. trump administration dealings from ukraine have stopped the country from cooperating with the mueller probe. one top ukraine official acknowledging what sounded like a quid pro quo saying they would not cooperate with mueller because they needed to retain the favor of the trump administration to get approval of long sought missiles.
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let's talk about manafort. it sounds like the special counsel got a rough ride with this judge today about the scope of the investigation. >> it was remarkable hearing. nothing changed legally. at issue was paul manafort's motion to dismiss the charges arguing that the bank fraud and tax fraud and lobbying charge against him exceed the scope of special counsel robert mueller's mandate to investigate russia collusion. this judge did not rule on the matter but he hammered the special counsel's office and seemed to be skeptical on a lot of points. he started off saying you don't care about mr. manafort's bank fraud charges, you want to squeeze him to get to the president. you want to pressure him to lead to donald trump's impeachment. the lawyer did not acknowledge that and argued calmly that the manafort charges do relate to his work for ukraine which is
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important because he was after the chairman of the trump campaign. they followed the money and that's where it lead. this judge was obviously very skeptical of the idea of a special counsel with a $10 million budget. at one point he said we don't want anyone with unfettered power many this country and he responded we do have unfettered power. we're part of the justice department. we're doing our job. >> is he the trial judge as well? >> he is. a courthouse observer said he's hardest on the side he favors. he may have been engaging in rhetorical device where is he will rule in favor of the mueller team. the manafort motion, most say it's a long shot. the charges seem to be well founded. we'll have to see. >> ken, you have been drilling down on manafort for so long. explain to us how some ukraine officials seem to be indicating they wanted to retain the favor
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of the trump administration which gave them the approval for these long sought weapons that they couldn't get before and so they are letting -- they're stopping their cooperation with the mueller probe. >> yeah, that's right. as with many things related to high level diplomacy there's not necessarily a quid pro quo. the trump administration didn't ask for these cases to be frozen by you can see why the ukraine who has been working to curry favor with the trump administration, particularly people around trump came down so hard when suggesting that crew yan w ukraine was in with hillary clinton. with that backdrop you could see why the crane yan would want to do something to make nice with trump and some of the prosecutors, some of the folks
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in the prosecutor's office have at the same time frozen these four cases that we're looking into aspects of manafort's work in ukraine for the former russia, strong man president and some of these cases they have frozen have direct bearing on aspects of mueller's investigations so clearly it could make things more complicated for the mueller team. it will avoid potential further headaches. >> is it the case that one of these key players who was connected to the gru, the military intelligence in russia has been able to go from ukraine back from russia beyond the reach of mueller. >> thoost rigat's right.
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he's someone who mueller's team has assessed in court filings have tieing to russian intelligence. while you hear the argument at this hearing that ken just covered and recounted for us about where manafort's lawyers are saying this is not about russian collusion. a memo said they are authorized that manafort did have a role and this guy who is physically out of the reach of mueller's prosecutors and ukraine prosecutors because he's in russia, could be a key to that because he continued to work with manafort throughout 2016 even as he was believed to have russian intelligence connections. >> thank you so much. stay tuned to that. thanks. coming up, keeping the
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today the president said he had a great relationship with kelly and call reports to the contrary absolutely false. i guess that's "fake" news. let's get the fake inside scoop. jonathan capehart, msnbc contributor also charlie sykes and from pbs news and white house correspondent and jonathan capehart, msnbc contributor and opinion writer at the "washington post." carole, what charlie, what's going on here? ike ricocheting thuy rudy giuliani, ty cobb quitting now the president calling out rudy giuliani saying that john kelly is his bff? >> well, reminder that the problem in the white house and the trump is administration has never been a personnel problem. it's been a leadership problem
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that you don't fix by changing either the chief of staff or the -- the lawyers involved in this. all of this flows from the character, the personal, the judgment of donald trump, and that's pretty much the way he wants it. >> and dan boss was moved to write a lead in his ain the rti the "washington post." doesn't sound like the straight reporter we've seen in the past. "does it bother anyone that president trump has been caught lying? that this is not new. that the president has been shown to be a liar?" jonathan? >> well, one, you are right to point out that the "washington post," senior veteran political correspondent, as straight as straight news can get, conservative in writing when
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talking about politicians and their motives and motivations, for him to write that is an earthquake in washington journalism, and he's not wrong. i mean, you know, i'm an opinion writer. i've been calling the president a liar, misogynist, racist for at least a year and a half. then at some point, republicans in, in congress, and republicans who are throughout the country still standing by this president have to come to terms with the fact that what dan baltz right in his column is true and ask themselves those three questions. and if the answer is, "yes" to any and all of them, the fourth question is what are you going to do about it? >> ameesneesh what the presiden would say, we're going to negotiate with north korea, have the lowest unemployment ever. they won't talk about productivity and other warnings signs on the economic front but
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that things are going really well, and that's what they're trying to project. >> when i was trying to figure out what was going on between the president and rudy giuliani this morning i was calling around. one white house aide said just that. look at employment numbers, legislati legislative -- ticking off the things they want legislative with the v.i.p. choice bill and other things. what we're talking about today, the president is backtracking on the fact he paid michael cohen who then paid a porn star he likely had an affair with. so while you want to talk about this great stuff you understand you have a messaging problem and it's not anyone else. the person trying to blame the media, but the president himself is talking at any time -- every time you ask him a question he's basically saying what you want to hear at the moment. today is one of those examples. when people said, well, i thought you said you didn't know anything about the payment? he said, no, no. go back. listen to the tape. we did. the tape is him specifically saying, no. when asked, did he know about
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the payment. >> he was talking to the same a.p. correspondent who asked the question on april 5th on air force one. charlie, what are you hearing in -- you know, what are you hearing in wisconsin? because you have a better feel. for -- >> same thing you hear every place else. it's not just dan baltz asking this question, does anybody care. the "wall street journal," very defensive of donald trump has a harsh editorial today basically saying nobody is going to believe anything you say. neil cavuto, you're making your own swamp. there are two questions. what took them so long to realize donald trump of approach to truth and number two, kind of the 500-pound gorilla here, the number of voters and republicans who know the president is lying and may not actually care about it, going back to jonathan's point. they may not actually care. >> speaking of lying, there's a lot of lying going on on capitol
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hill, jonathan capehart, about the reasons why the chaplain was forced out and has now been rehired. have you gotten to the bottom of any of that? >> i haven't. isn't it interesting the firing of the chaplain of the house is, what, number 15, 16, 36 on a list of stories that if it -- that were the only thing happening that would be the breaking news. would be "the" story in washington, if not the country, and still i -- i don't know -- i haven't gotten to the bottom of this, but glad he got his job back. >> and keep the faith. indeed. jonathan capehart, and thank you all for being with us. more ahead. we'll be right back. to stay successful in business you have to navigate moving parts. on yabusele we have your back with expert advice on creating eye-catching marketing and more. each week we focus on ideas for
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i'm andrea mitchell. chris jansing takes it over in new york. >> thank you so much, andrea. good afternoon from our msnbc headquarters i am chris jansing in for craig melvin. trump's talking. the president clearly has a lot to get off his chest, ripping to reporters on his way to dallas saying giuliani will get his facts straight, as giuliani himself says he'll issue a correction soon. plus -- credibility crisis. the white house press secretary gets pounded with reporters' questions about the misinformation and lies coming out of the white house, even as she is forced to backtrack, and the president makes more misleading statements